Libraries: Your Partners for Healthy Communities

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Presented at the Governor's Public Health Conference, Wichita, KS, April 2013

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  • Public Internet Computer Uses:  4,302,762 times
  • Pew Internet & American Life ProjectPew Released: January 22, 2013Library Services in the Digital Age - Part 1: The role of libraries in people’s lives and communitiesOverall, a majority of Americans (76% of all respondents) say that libraries are important to them and their families, and 46% say that libraries are “very important”—up from 38% saying libraries are “very important” in December 2011.
  • http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/01/22/part-3-technology-use-at-libraries/Library Services in the Digital Age - Part 3: Technology use at librariesReleased: January 22, 2013African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely than whites to access the internet at their local library, as are parents of minor children, those under age 50, those living in households earning less than $30,000, and those with at least some college experience. Percentage of those who say it is very important to provide free library access to computers and the internet : African American – 92%, Hispanic – 86%, under $30K income – 81%
  • The American Library Association reports that 62% of libraries report they are the only source of free public access to computers and the Internet in their communities. Study available here. ↩
  • Librarians can assist you in developing a community assessment. One way to start is to identify the demographics of your county and city. An excellent source is the American FactFinder.
  • Another good source is State and county Quick Facts
  • There are many freely available grant-related web sites that your public librarians can connect you with and help navigate, like grants.gov, one that I find particularly cumbersome to navigate but full of good information. Of course, there are national opportunities like the CDC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation but there may also be regional and local foundations and funding opportunities that your local librarian can share with you.
  • Baltimore City Health Department program that uses an online grocery ordering/delivery system (Santoni's Super Market) to bring food to neighborhoods with low-vehicle ownership and little access to healthy foods (commonly called food deserts). The VSP enables neighborhood residents to place grocery orders at their local library branch, school or senior/disabled housing site or from any Internet enabled computer or device. Residents pick up their order weekly at their community site. The delivery cost is paid by the Health Department.Additionally, VSP participants are provided with a $10 incentive to purchase healthy foods on their first order and every fourth order after that to promote healthy eating.
  • CJ Online – May 7,2011 - Not all communities can accomplish such a project, but here’s an example from Rossville, KS – Rossville Community Library director Adrienne Olejnik and her staff are cultivating more than a love of reading these days.They also have planted the seed for a community garden that will yield a variety of vegetables and fruits, all of which will be given away free during library hours.Garden planned and maintained by library staff and volunteers but is used by everyone in the community
  • The internet has changed people’s relationships with information. Our data consistently show that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals continue to be the first choice for most people with health concerns, but online resources, including advice from peers, are a significant source of health information in the U.S.As broadband and mobile access spreads, more people have the ability – and increasingly, the habit – of sharing what they are doing or thinking. In health care this translates to people tracking their workout routines, posting reviews of their medical treatments, and raising awareness about certain health conditions. These are not yet mainstream activities, but there are pockets of highly-engaged patients and caregivers who are taking an active role in tracking and sharing what they have learned. Online resources join the stream of information flowing in from people's interactions with clinicians, family, and fellow patients. 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year.This is based on a September 2012 survey, the first time we asked people to think only about their online health activities in the past 12 months. For historical perspective, see: Health Topics and Who Doesn’t Gather Health Information Online?
  • While there is an abundance of health information freely available online, patrons still tend to start their search for health information at the public library, seeking help from their librarian to sort out the good from the bad. According to a study of users of the Consumer Health Library at the Delaware of Academy of Medicine, consumers report that the information found through libraries is very valuable and directly affects their health care decisions. Using the library helped patrons better understand information from their health care provider. 94% of study participants reported that they learned more and 47% felt they understood the information better. Over half of participants reported reduced anxiety about their health issue and many were prompted to take positive action to address their health care concern. 52% asked additional questions. 41% brought new information to their provider. 36% made a decision about treatment and 20% made a change in lifestyle.
  • I also encourage you to use Google Scholar. Please note the Scholar at the end. If you use Google when searching for literature or evidence, you will no doubt be overwhelmed with information. But Google scholar is a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Now you won’t be able to get to everything but you will find a fair amount of open access articles available. You can also customize your account so it will recognize your library and connect you to things they make available. If you go into settings, there is a library links setting. If you search for Kansas, you’ll find Blue Skyways, a service of the State Library. Once you save that setting, you’ll see a link below citations that are available through databases provided by the state library. Be aware though, you’ll have to have your state library card username and password to get access. So, for the record, not all librarians are anti-google. If used properly and responsibly, it can be a very powerful tool.
  • Health and MedicalConsumer Health Complete: Browsable medical database including drug information, topic fact sheets, medical dictionaries, and ebooks.MEDLINE: Information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and more. Created by the National Library of Medicine.ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health: Research nursing, allied health, alternative & complementary medicine topics.Again, I encourage you to use your public library when working in PubMed or other databases if you come across articles you don’t have access to, to request them via interlibrary loan.
  • 8 regionsNew EnglandSoutheast AtlanticSouth CentralPacific SouthWestPacific North WestGreater MidwestMiddle Atlantic
  • In addition to local resources, libraries have access to regional and national resources. The first is clearly the National Library of Medicine. They provide excellent web-based resources like PubMed, MedlinePlus, the go-to consumer health information website
  • The National Library of Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health, created and maintains MedlinePlus to assist you in locating authoritative health information. MedlinePlus pages contain carefully selected links to Web resources with health information on over 900 topics. MedlinePlus follows a list of guidelines for the inclusion of Web sites.The MedlinePlus health topic pages include links to current news on the topic and related information. You can also find preformulated searches of the MEDLINE/PubMed database, which allow you to find references to latest health professional articles on your topic. The A.D.A.M. medical encyclopedia brings health consumers an extensive library of medical images and videos, as well as over 4,000 articles about diseases, tests, symptoms, injuries, and surgeries. The Merriam-Webster medical dictionary allows you to look up definitions and spellings of medical words. Drug and supplement information is available from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) via AHFS® Consumer Medication Information, and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version.AHFS® Consumer Medication Information provides extensive information about more than 1,000 brand name and generic prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including side effects, precautions and storage for each drug.Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version is an evidence-based collection of information on alternative treatments. MedlinePlus has 100 monographs on herbs and supplements. Interactive tutorials from the Patient Education Institute explain over 165 procedures and conditions in easy-to-read language.
  • This database links over 12,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers. You can search by a specific chemical, type of product, and brand name. You can find symptoms of exposure to the chemical, first aid, and how to handle and dispose of the product.and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. The database is designed to help answer the following typical questions: What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands? Which products contain specific chemical ingredients? Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer? What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand? What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?
  • Over 4 million residents of the United States can claim American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry, in whole or in part. 1 Though far from a homogeneous population, with over 500 tribes, most American Indians are drawn together by core values such as an emphasis on spirituality, a recognition of the sacredness of all living things, and respect for the land and the natural world in general. This Web resource on American Indian Health, sponsored by the National Library of Medicine, is designed to bring together health and medical resources pertinent to the American Indian population including policies, consumer health information, and research.
  • PHPartners.org, an information source for the public health workforce compiled by U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health sciences libraries.It offers information on a variety of topics including nutrition, obesity, and dental public health but also points you to data tools and statistics, grant and funding opportunities, emails and discussion lists, and structured evidence-based queries by topic. Again, I encourage you to use your public library when working in PubMed or other databases if you come across articles you don’t have access to, to request them via interlibrary loan.
  • Provide some examples of library projects on health information. In this first one, the Pima County Library partnered with their county health department to hire public health nurses for the libraries.Nurse Karen Murphy checks a library visitor's blood pressure in Tucson, Ariz., where branches are providing public health nurses along with their other free services.Public libraries have long been the go-to place to borrow books, attend classes or log on to public computers. But over the last decade, they have also become shelters for people in need, including the mentally ill, battered women, latchkey kids and new immigrants.Acknowledging that reality, libraries in Tucson, Ariz., have become the first in the nation to provide registered nurses along with their other services. Placing nurses in six branches is a nod to the widely accepted transition of public libraries into de facto community centers.
  • Now they can seek help from nurses like Daniel Lopez, who roams the main library in downtown Tucson every morning with his stethoscope and black medical bag. What he encounters varies daily. He could be checking people’s blood pressure, examining the swollen limbs of diabetics, or attending to sprains and superficial cuts. On some days, he joins the library’s Story Time, helping parents find hygiene supplies or immunization clinics. Sometimes, he is called to help someone withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.Other examples:Nursecounseled a branch manager who had determined that a young library user had head lice. She helped a victim of domestic violence find safe shelter and get medical attention. She encourages library visitors to use the hand sanitizer that’s always available to reduce the spread of germs. She has been able to respond in situations that have historically been challenging for librarians and since her arrival, they have had fewer behavioral health incidents, which can often lead to a 911 call for assistance. I understand these might be issues more commonly faced in public libraries in larger metropolitan areas but I think this story speaks to the benefits of working together across agencies to identify opportunities and take advantage.
  • Stop by our Health Neighborhood and check out the health bags that we have available. The bags cover diseases from AD/HD and Alzheimer’s to Managing Diabetes or Heart Health. Plus, we have bags on wellness topics like Walking and Yoga. The materials in the bag are carefully selected by librarians. Each bag contains 4 or 5 books on the specific health topic, and some bags contain an informational DVD.Browse a list of Health Bags in the library catalog and place a request if the one you want is checked out.6 different fitness kits are available for customers interested in physical fitness and exercise materials at the library.Get started knowing your numbers – check your blood pressure and BMI at the library’s Health Information Neighborhood, and enter our Know Your Numbers contest. One lucky winner will be drawn from all entries submitted by April 21, 2012. to win a $10 gift certificate to the Millennium Café.
  • The library partnered with Oral Health Kansas to create a display that asks people to consider how much sugar is in their drink. Free handouts including Healthy Eating for a Healthy Mouth and toothbrushing tips were provided next to the display.
  • Libraries: Your Partners for Healthy Communities

    1. 1. Libraries: Your Partners forHealthy CommunitiesRachel Vukas, MLSKansas/Technology CoordinatorNational Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental RegionA.R. Dykes Library - University of Kansas Medical Centerrvukas@kumc.eduGovernor’s Public Health ConferenceApril 29, 2013
    2. 2. Objectives The participants will be able torecommend quality online healthresources to their clients. The participants will have an increasedawareness of the role of public librariesand how they might collaborate withthem on health informationprogramming.
    3. 3. Kansas Public Libraries - 328
    4. 4. KS Public Libraries
    5. 5. Kansas LibrariesTotal Circulation:27+ million items
    6. 6. 15+ Million Visitors72% arecard holders
    7. 7. Of the 50 states and D.C. Kansas ranks 2nd - registered borrowers 2nd - public-use Internetcomputers 8th - total circulation 14th - library visits
    8. 8. Kansas LibrariesBest Small Library in America 2012:The Independence PublicLibrary, Kansas
    9. 9. Kansas Libraries
    10. 10. Role of Libraries 77% - libraries are “important tome and my family” 46% - libraries are “veryimportant”• 81% - household income lessthan $30KPew Research Center Internet & AmericanLife Project – January 2013
    11. 11. Role of Libraries“It is very important to provide freelibrary access to computers and theinternet.” 92% - African American 86% - Hispanic 72% - White 73% - Rural
    12. 12. Kansas Public Library InternetComputer Uses – 20114,302,762 times
    13. 13. Virtual Supermarket
    14. 14. Baltimore Public Library VirtualSupermarket
    15. 15. Consumer Health Informationat the Library affects health care decisions better understanding ofinformation reduces anxiety about healthissue prompts positive action
    16. 16. National Network of Libraries of Medicinennlm.gov
    17. 17. Group Exercise Select a health issue Decide on a project How will you involve the publiclibrary? What resources or ideas from todaywould support your program?
    18. 18. Online Health ResourcesAIDSInfo - http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/American FactFinder – http://factfinder2.census.gov/American Indian Health -http://americanindianhealth.nlm.nih.gov/about.htmlBaltimore Virtual Supermarket -http://baltimorehealth.org/virtualsupermarket.htmlBaltimore Virtual Supermarket video - http://vimeo.com/15051410Bringing Health Information to the Community (BHIC) Blog -http://nnlm.gov/bhic/Google Scholar - http://scholar.google.com/Grants.gov - http://grants.gov/
    19. 19. Online Health ResourcesGuides for Developing a Community-based Health InformationProgramhttp://nnlm.gov/outreach/community/guides/index.htmlHousehold Products Database - http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/Kansas Regional Library Systems -http://systems.mykansaslibrary.org/Medline Plus - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/National Library of Medicine, Databases - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/National Network of Libraries of Medicine – http://nnlm.govNIH SeniorHealth - http://nihseniorhealth.gov/NLM Mobile -http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mobile/
    20. 20. Online Health ResourcesNN/LM Heath Information On the Web - http://nnlm.gov/hip/PHPartners.org - http://phpartners.org/Public Health Subject Guide - University of Kansas Medical Center.http://guides.library.kumc.edu/publichealthState and County QuickFacts -http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.htmlState Data Center, Library Statistics -http://www.kslib.info/government-information/kansas-information/state-data-center/library-statistics.htmlState Library of Kansas - http://www.kslib.info/
    21. 21. Thank You!Rachel Vukasrvukas@kumc.edu

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